I don’t have OCD – it isn’t a disorder for me that gets in the way of my daily life. However, I do have obsessive thoughts, and seeing progress bars that aren’t full or other such incomplete indicators can make my brain twitch. That’s why I played multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 – not because it was great (although it was), but because I had to get that readiness percent full. It was a good incentive to play a multiplayer mode I would have otherwise ignored, but I still wish I could have had a complete experience without it. Mass Effect Andromeda is doing just that.
Speaking to Kotaku, Bioware producer Mike Gamble explained that while Andromeda will have a “strike team” system as a fundamental part of the multiplayer experience, multiplayer progression won’t be required to progress the story:
There’s a system that we use called the Strike Team system, and fundamentally it allows you to go between singleplayer and multiplayer within the game,. And it’s packaged around a meta-story of what’s going on in Helios.
He went on to say that while that deeper meta-story would come from the multiplayer experience, the meta-story can actually be finished without playing multiplayer at all. Plus, he said it’s fairly easy to switch between single and multiplayer:
I can tell you that there’s a loading screen – it’s not entirely seamless – but it won’t require you to stop your game and restart in a different mode. Because narratively it’s all connected, it makes a lot of sense.
I assume it will be a matter of selecting a multiplayer mission from the bridge of your ship, rather than needing to specifically load up a multiplayer game. I’ve been enjoying single player experiences with the occasional touch of multiplayer lately – it’s well done in a game like Watch Dogs 2 or Dark Souls, so I’m a bit more open-minded about how it’s approached in Mass Effect, especially if it’s not integral to the game.
Finally, Gamble didn’t reveal too much information, but he did say that exploration would be really worthwhile for those who enjoy travelling to every inch of a planet:
You’ll see like a couple chrome corpses, a couple … corpses, you’ll look around that area, pull your scanner up, you’ll find out that, ‘Oh shit, something bad happened here’ and that was the result of that firefight is and this is why they did that. Maybe it’ll point you to somewhere else on the planet; maybe it’ll just end there. But we have those kind of things and we hope that players really enjoy those.
That sounds so ridiculously cool. I love stuff like that – I’m such an obsessive explorer in games, I leave no corner unexplored. This means that this behavior will be rewarded with cool easter eggs or secrets, or just deeper understanding of planets and what’s going on. Sounds great to me! With Mass Effect Andromeda out in a few short months, it’s so exciting to finally know more about the game without having to wait forever.